Monday, September 30, 2019

Water Parks Vacation

Our water park adventures.Summer vacations are nice, but expensive, so this year we decided to save on air fare and go someplace local. As a bonus, not flying is good for the environment.

Kids with camel at Camelback.We’ve heard from multiple people how much fun water parks are, but never tried this type of recreation until this summer.

Kids inside Camelback water park.There are three major water parks in relatively close proximity to us — Camelback, Great Wolf Lodge and Kalahari. We decided to visit two of them in order to compare and have greater variety. Camelback was recommended by my friend Erica, and Great Wolf Lodge by one of Daniеl’s coworkers.

Climb to the top for the scariest rides.So we booked Calemback for 3 nights and Great Wolfe for 2 nights. I have to say that it even though it was quite fun overall, 5 nights are definitely an overkill, and 2-3 nights in total would have been plenty.

One of the best family rides -- Venus Flytrap. Note the people inside.We left on Friday, June 28th. It took us about two and a half hours of driving to get to Camelback resort. Our room was adequate, and the breakfast was good too.

Ready for the indoor obstacle course.On Thursday Arosha cut two toes on some sharp stone at Martin Pond, so I was a little worried about him getting an infection. Luckily, the resort sells water shoes, so those combined with band-aids proved to provide sufficient protection.

Anna conquering a rope path.Camelback resort has inside water park called Aquatopia and an outdoor park called Camelbeach. Camelbeach requires a separate entry fee, but one day tickets were included with our stay.

Arosha at the top.There were a lot of people at the resort, but we mostly did not have to wait in long lines, with the notable exception of the surfing ride, which we did not even get to try because one had to wait close to an hour for a few minutes of fun.

Rock wall climbing. She did reach the top.I liked both indoor and outdoor parks. I especially liked the ski lift ride, with a beautiful view of the Pocono Mountains. It was a bit on the extreme side for me still, with the kids riding unfastened over the abyss and all. None of the people around us seemed to be scared, and I tried to hide my fear as well in order not to freak out kids or worry Daniеl.

Arosha climbed the hardest wall they had to the top.One of the sad discoveries that I made on this trip is that I get motion sick on the water park rides after 2-3 rounds. What a bummer! I liked the thrill of it, but could not handle much. Luckily, nobody else in the family seemed to be experiencing this, so from time to time I lounged by the pool while Daniеl was in charge of rides with the kids.

Ceramics painting.There was a wave pool which kids really liked. Anna was wearing a life jacket most of the time. She got much better in the last few weeks with swimming by the way, and can go to the docks at Martin Pond by herself.

Dinner at a local brewery.She also started swimming lessons last week along with Arosha. Sadly, she is prone to have swimmers ear, so even with ear plugs and swimming cap she is currently on antibiotic ear drops. But back to water parks.

Outside Camelback aqua park. Some rides get outside the walls.We did a few other activities while at Camelback. Daniеl and kids took an obstacle course and climbed a rock wall. All of us painted some pottery, which was fun too. Aaron painted a lantern, Anna painted a puppy and Daniеl and I painted a Family sign, which is now proudly displayed among some other trinkets over the fireplace.

Fruits of our labor. Fresh out kiln.We visited a few restaurants, some are more expensive than others.

Great Wolf Lodge.The Great Wolf Lodge is located a 10 minute ride away from Camelback. It was a little frustrating that we had to upgrade our room for $60 extra per night because the room that we originally got had one of the sleeping places right next to the air conditioner and there was no way to move it or redirect the AC.

Our room at Great Wolf Lodge.The breakfast was very expensive (over $60 for the 4 of us). We pre-bought it while booking since it was advertised as themed breakfast and we thought it would be fun for the kids. The themed part consisted of a costumed person briefly appearing in the restaurant area and posing for pictures with willing patrons. Luckily, the hotel agreed to refund us the second breakfast and we just bought some bagels and cherries in the local supermarket and saved over $50.

Hugging a puppy. Naturally.There was no outdoor park at Wolf Lodge, but they did have an outdoor pool. The water was too cold for me and Anna, and the boys did not even try it.

Arosha at the obstacle course at Great Wolf Lodge.There was a nice outdoors obstacle course, which Arosha tried. It was $20 per person and not included with the stay.

Mini-golf course.The indoor park was nice. It seemed smaller than Camelback, but had a few somewhat different exciting rides. There were lines at times, but it was not terrible.

Duckpin bowling.We also played a game of mini golf and two games of bowling for variety.

Outside of Great Wolf Lodge.By the end of our vacation, Anna and I got a chlorine induced rash on different body parts. It took a few weeks before it cleared for me and Anna still has some patches of itchy skin on her legs, even though I treated her rash with steroids and moisturizers. I guess, she is more sensitive to that kind of stuff.

Water slides at Great Wolf Lodge.Overall, it was a very nice little getaway. A bit more expensive than we hoped, but definitely cheaper than a full fledged vacation. I am willing to go to another water park next year, but as I said earlier, the stay should be maximum 3 days long in order to maximize the fun and not get worn out by the repetitiveness of this past time.

Last moment of our water parks adventure.

Leave a comment

O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Arosha’s Birthday

Balloon tradition.This year Arosha turned 9. Happy Birthday, my boy! We love you very much and wish you all the best things there are!

Spooner balancing board.The birthday fell on Thursday. Daniеl took a day off work so that we can spend it together and celebrate as a family.

Swurfer swing. Awesome!We inflated a bunch of balloons the night before — the expected, but still very exciting birthday treat which we started when he was still a toddler. We put the gifts from grandparents and aunt Lina on fireplace and we also hid most clues for the treasure hunt which happened on birthday morning and led Arosha to our gift.

Anna swurfing.Anna also prepared a gift for her brother. She repurposed a bath bomb box with the help of scissors, scotch tape and markers and created a cardboard house. She put some drawings and $1 in a pretty bag inside. She also bought him a ball at our local store later in the day.

Swurfer fun.From grandparents and aunt Lina he got a bunch of things that he asked for — wooden blocks, poly spots — and a bunch of things that were a surprise — board games, electronic Rubik’s cube puzzle game. Anna also got a few small gifts.

Hibachi dinner.We got him a spooner balancing board which looked way more fun on Shark Tank than it was in reality, and a Swurfer surfing swing, which actually is fun so long as you are careful. The installation of Swurfer took over an hour — Daniеl was doing most of the work and I helped with little things. We also stopped at the local service station later in the day and got two used tires which Danya attached to the tree trunk to somewhat protect a person in case of impact. The original rope included with the swing was a little too short for our high branches, so we had to order a longer rope. It came with two additional handles sets plus we had a set included with the swing. We installed two of those so that it’ll be comfortable for both Aaron and Anna, but did not think that for a grown up an even higher set of handles would be very convenient. That is a sad mistake, but it’ll take a lot of effort to install it now, so sadly adults have a bit less control while swinging.

Birthday cake.At lunch we went to Mannen — our local hibachi place that Arosha really likes. Then we went to Stop and Shop where he picked a cake and some candles. It was nice, fruity and not too sweet.

Duckpin bowling with friends.And on Saturday he celebrated his birthday with friends at Danbury Duckpin Bowling. Logan, Julian and Ben were invited from his class (also Justin, but he was away that weekend), and Matvey and Misha were invited along with their parents. Bowling was fun, although I with they would let us play longer. There were no other parties, so we had a whole party room for ourselves and got an extra lane. There was pizza and ice cream cake with candles and I also made a fruit salad in the morning. The price was very reasonable too, which is a nice change after crazy Brooklyn prices for party events as such.

Birthday lunch with friends.And after bowling Ilya with family and Logan went to our place to celebrate some more. The boys seemed to have fun playing together and we also enjoyed the company of the adults. Later on Wendy stopped by to pick Logan up and spent about an hour with us. That was nice too.

Swurfing mastery.All in all, Arosha had a nice birthday and a good year for the most part. I hope he’ll have a wonderful next year of his life. We are lucky to have him in our family!

Another birthday cake!

Leave a comment

O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin

Untitled